Will Travers OBE: Born free and committed to compassionate conservation

Will Travers OBE is one of the UK’s most influential animal rights activists, founding the Born Free Foundation in 1984 with his parents, originally under the name Zoo Check. As most of the world has been placed under strict lockdown and quarantine rules, we’re beginning to get a glimpse into what life must be like for animals trapped in zoos, forced to live in confined spaces under lock and key “for not much more than our own amusement”. Born Free’s latest campaign, “Creature Discomforts”, tackles this issue with the help of the animators at Aardman. Will talks about the distress and anxiety caused to animals when they’re not allowed to roam their natural habitats, and how we’ve “distorted and warped” our relationship with wild animals. Later in the conversation Will discusses the reprehensible poaching and canned hunting industries, and the threat they pose to animals like Lions. The discussion moves onto the life of George Adamson, the realities of filming “Born Free” in the sixties, and the financing of wildlife protection, before ending on a note about Will’s late father - his ever-present guide to knowing what’s right and wrong in the world.

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